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Rift

If d’Easum’s tale can be believed, Moose and Mickey were killed together years later for a claim they were digging near Warm Lake, suspected of a “strike,” by a fellow fiddler they’d befriended from Texas, Aubrey Blackburn.

 

“Aubrey sneaked up another rod, rushed out in the open and fired twice at Mickey. The fiddle slipped from the old man’s hand and the bow made a final discordant screech as it passed over the strings. Mickey slumped into the pit dead. Moose whirled around, leaped out of the hole, swinging his pick, and roaring like a bull. Blackburn fired again but his aim was jittery. He missed. As Morgan swung a mighty blow, he pulled the trigger again. The bullet took deadly effect. At the same time the pick came down on Blackburn’s skull. They fell together in a heap and lay still.”¹

 

This is, of course, a reconstruction of events based on what was later found. Over the years, those looking for the gold the two were thought to have hidden reported the sound of fiddles wailing in the night.

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¹ Idaho Statesman, “Three Fiddler’s Ghosts” (21 October 1934)

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Taken on November 8, 2015